September 24, 2018
Sudan has acquired the largest share of aid allocated to Africa at the China-Africa Cooperation summit, where $60 billion was pledged “to achieve development in the African countries,” Asharq Al-Awsat reported yesterday.
The Chinese government hosted the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in the capital Beijing on 3 September, bringing together top leaders and government officials from 53 African countries to discuss “future cooperation between China and the African countries.” During the forum, China wrote off Khartoum’s debts accrued up to 2015, totalling $10 billion. In addition, Chinese oil companies pledged to invest in the gas, minerals and oil pipelines from South Sudan to Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast.
Issam Abdel Wahab Bob, Professor of Economics at Sudan’s Neelain University, told the London-based newspaper that the Chinese decision will entail an influx of more capital and investments in various areas across the country. He stressed that the move “comes as part of China’s strategy to expand further in Africa, considering Sudan as its largest economic and strategic partner in Africa.”
Professor Bob pointed out that the volume of Chinese investments in Sudan is estimated at $10 billion across various sectors, including agriculture, oil and minerals. “The Chinese government has exerted efforts in the extraction of Sudanese oil and had also contributed to major developmental projects in many African countries,” he added.
According to official data, Sudan’s debts to China exceed $10 billion, $2 billion of which is related to oil debts accrued to the Chinese oil companies, which operated in Sudan under the supervision of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
CNPC operations were halted following South Sudan’s secession in 2011. Chinese petroleum companies have resumed work in the country following an agreement to reschedule their debts and granted them concessions in some newly discovered oil fields. The fields, which are operated under the CNPC umbrella, produce around 20,000 barrels per day, with a target of reaching 360,000 barrels per day by the end of this year.